Riverview boys cross country team celebrates 4th straight section title

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Sunday, October 10, 2021 | 11:01 AM


The Riverview boys cross country team has set several top goals for itself this season, and the deep group of runners checked one of the boxes last week by capturing a fourth consecutive section championship.

The Raiders completed an undefeated Division II, Section 4 dual-meet season at 9-0 with a sweep over Highlands and Deer Lakes on Oct. 5 on their Oakmont East course.

Deer Lakes senior and state track and field gold medalist Carson McCoy was the overall race winner at 17 minutes, 29 seconds, but Riverview runners, led by senior tri-captains Parker Steele, Ty Loughlin and Lucas Wilton, took the next five places.

The three four-year letterwinners capped their varsity dual-meet careers with a 38-0 record.

“Those three are great students and great role models,” Riverview coach Palma Ostrowski said. “Their consistency continues to amaze me.”

The boys team overall extended its meet winning streak to 42 dating to a loss to Indiana in 2017.

It also has not lost a dual meet to a Class A team since the PIAA moved to three cross country classifications in 2015.

The resume this season for the Riverview boys includes a second-place finish at the season-opening Gateway Invitational behind just Class AAA Fox Chapel and a first-place finish in the Class A race at the Red, White and Blue Invitational at White Oak Park.

The Raiders are ranked No. 2 in the MileSplit PIAA Class A rankings. District 4’s Hughesville, fourth at states last year, owns the top spot.

Three WPIAL teams are ranked in the top five. Winchester Thurston is third, and Eden Christian is fourth.

Individually, Steele has paced the Riverview boys with a third at the Gateway Invite, a fifth at Red, White and Blue and a first-place finish in eight of the nine dual meets.

Junior Amberson Bauer has joined Steele, Laughlin and Wilton in a formidable top four, and the team also has received a boost from juniors Luke Migely and Jack Betler, sophomore Cohen Hoolihan and freshmen Chris Barnes, and Holden Deasy.

“We have eight runners which have registered times in the 18s, and we have two more who will be there shortly,” Ostrowski said. “We don’t think any other single-A program in PA can say that. However, you can only run seven at WPIALs, and they need to perform on championship day to make states. We need a little more consistency at the fifth spot to be considered a state contender.”

The WPIAL championships will be Oct. 28 at Cal (Pa.).

The Riverview boys and girls teams were set to test their mettle one more time before the WPIAL championships with a run Saturday at the Harbor Creek Invitational near Erie.

The Riverview girls team also swept Deer Lakes and Highlands in the section finale to complete a 9-1 section dual season. The only loss came to undefeated section champion Knoch, a Class AA team, on Sept. 28.

Freshman Lily Bauer continued her breakout season as the overall winner in the meet with the Golden Rams and Lancers. She crossed the finish line in 22:56, almost a minute ahead of junior teammate Olivia Wilton.

Bauer finished in 13th at the Gateway Invite and added a 10th at Red, White and Blue. She placed first in six of the nine dual meets.

“She definitely is a threat to be one of the 20 individual state qualifiers from WPIALs,” Ostrowski said.

Ostrowski said Wilton, a team captain, should be on the fringe of the state qualifiers.

Sophomore Gwyn Fichte, Ostrowski added, has closed the gap between her and the top two. She finished third in the dual final (24:07) with Deer Lakes and Highlands.

“The girls team has exceeded (the coaches’) expectations,” Ostrowski said. “They keep improving and are beginning to compare in line with past girls teams that we have taken to states. However, single-A girls is pretty deep this year with Mohawk, OLSH, Winchester Thurston and Eden Christian. So while probably still not a top-four state qualifying team from WPIALs, we are not that far out of the mix.”

Michael Love is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Michael by email at mlove@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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